HOUSTON — The City of Houston says its plan to tackle violent crime is showing signs of working.
"We’re not where we want to be,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said during a Tuesday news conference.
But he added that, while individual tragedies persist, things are trending in the right direction.
"And, for the first time this year, we are now below where we were a year ago as it relates to homicides,” Turner said.
On May 31, 2021, there had been 192 homicides that year, according to the city.
That's five more than Tuesday morning in a year-to-date comparison -- a 3% dip.
“I’m not here at all to say that it’s a mission accomplished," Turner said. "I’m not saying that at all.”
Turner and HPD cite the “One Safe Houston” initiative, which was launched in February, as making a difference.
It includes a $52 million investment in things like technology, community outreach and overtime for, ideally, 125 extra officers on the street daily.
"It was quite alarming that we entered 2022 outpacing what everyone knew was a record year in 2021," HPD Executive Chief Matt Slinkard said. "But we have been able to curb that. We have been able to stem that.”
Violent crime often goes up in the summer. Therefore, the city isn’t getting ahead of itself while touting a measurable accomplishment.
"We’re working on it every single day," Turner said. "To make this an increasingly safe city.”
We spoke with a victims’ rights group, which said it would like to see things move faster. It continues to press the courts and others to do their part.